What if Christ Had Not Come?
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Every Sunday we come to the Holy Mass as the best worship which we offer to God through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
In return for this religious observance, we receive the double gift from God our heavenly Father: we listen to His living Word that enlightens our mind, guides our way to the saving Truth; on the other hand, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ to be our food for ever-lasting life in God’s Kingdom.
In order that after we leave the church at the end of this Sunday Holy Mass celebration, there could be something remaining in our mind and in our heart concerning the message which God wants to send to each and one of us, His children, we shall learn the main topic of the Liturgy of the Word of this Sunday.
The First Reading taken from the Book of Job tells us the reality that human life has nothing good at all. From the beginning to the end of his life, man keeps facing suffering, both physical and mental, calamities, both natural and manmade, and finally death. You may say, if you like, that Job is rather pessimistic. However, in the light of Christian faith, what Job thinks of is perfectly correct. Humanity under the power of the forces of evil remains an endless misery, an unbroken cycle of hardship.
The Gospel according to Saint Mark reports on how Jesus was busy to preach the Good News of liberation, not in the limited political sense, but in the complete meaning that humanity needs to be totally freed from the hand of Satan. For this reason, Christ heals the sick, binds the brokenhearted, raises the dead, and drives out the devil. But the sublime act of His love for us sinners was, in order to save us, His sacrifice of His own life on the Cross through which He definitely destroyed Satan’s evil kingdom of sin and death.
Saint Paul, in the second Reading taken from his First Letter to the Corinthians, urges all of us Christians to respond properly to the love and care of Christ Who died for us, by taking up the task of being witnesses of His Good News of salvation. We should do this willingly and free of charge as a gesture of gratitude to Him Who so loved us that He laid down His life so that we may live as a new creation, happy and free and proud to be God’s image again.
To be able to accomplish this noble mission of being light of the world, salt of the earth, and leaven in the dough, we need Christ’s strength which we are about to receive in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
Let us approach the Holy Table of Christ’s sacrifice with living faith that He is present here and now, and with burning love we will be united with Him.
Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.